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How do you select a career different than the traditional career path in the family?

This is part of our professionals series

Thank you comment icon A few avenues to explore- Network with the people in your chosen area of interest Always have a back-up option Intern in your field of interest Vidya Ramesh

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Subject: Career question for you

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Viridiana’s Answer

This is hard. The question can bring you into challenging your cultural beliefs and trying to take into consideration your family's beliefs, sometimes limiting your own. In my own experience, I come from a family that works in agriculture and construction and I want to study a career that specifically works with engineering and physics. When speaking to my family about it, it brought a few disputes and discouragement to our table but ultimately it's my life and it's the path I want to choose. I would tell you to just go with what you would like to do in life, but it's easier said than done. The best thing to do here would be to analyze where your wants and needs would be best taken into consideration and how you can go about choosing a career that will not break you mentally. You have to put yourself first and be able to recognize that this career is what you will be doing in your life, not anyone else's.
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Alexa’s Answer

Well, you have to ask yourself what you want to pursue. You can bring it up to your family that you’re doing what makes you happy. A lot of families are supportive. Some are not, but they have to realize that this is your life, and they cannot live through you.
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for the question. This is a good question indeed. I believe many students may face.
The world especially technology changes rapidly in the last decade. The career and working model changes a lot. There are new careers emerges. The older generation may not understand.
Firstly, the students should choose a career they have interest,
They can do more research on the career and find out more details, eg career path, their career aspirations, etc
Then, they can articulate this to their parents to demonstrate they have thought through this prudently.
In addition, they can also seek their mentor or school career counsellor for guidance if applicable.
Hope this helps!
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David’s Answer

In most families, this is not a major issue. Parents want to see their children happy and successful. However, if there is a heavy bias toward a particular career field, then the child should begin asserting interest in other careers by the ninth grade. Doing so signals to the family that the child may prefer another direction. This is not a time to assert a particular career, but only to confirm interest in pursuing a variety of career opportunities. This should be followed with visits with several colleges or trade schools with the parent attending to allow them to see the child's interest when discussing with those in the alternate career area. What is important throughout is to avoid any statements that imply disrespect, either for the parents' career areas, or the child's. Active participation in extra-curricular activities in new areas can be helpful.
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Christina’s Answer

I took a test very similar to this test at the site below when I was in career counseling in my 30's. I wish I could have known about something like this sooner. This takes your personality traits and gives suggestions based on who you are. Keep in mind that your personality will change throughout your life, especially in your late teens and early 20's - so it's good to be flexible and know that the perfect career is not something that you will know right now. Rather, be patient with yourself. Spend some time getting to know you. I tell my kids and mentees to travel and focus on learning you in your first couple of years after high school. Take different classes, experiment.. see what really sparks your interest!

https://www.16personalities.com/
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Diane’s Answer

Hi, if your family is not pressuring you going into the traditional family career path then follow your gut/instincts and choose the road that fulfills you. If your family is pressuring you to follow the traditional family career path then having discussions with them about your goals, dreams and what makes you fulfilled is important, even if it's different from theirs. Best of luck!
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Corwin’s Answer



-The single greatest piece of advice I received, relevant to my career path, was the day Dr. Todd Albert, of Boca Code told me, "I needed to - FIND MY WHY! "

-Now when I first heard this my initial thought was ".........................../\................/\................. um....",
"Cool! How in the world might I go about discovering such a philosophically complex question anyway?? "
- like all things in life what we find, and the depth of the answer we receive, directly correlates with the effort, and sincerity we put into ANY GIVEN TASK.

Now for my story with finding my why. I will be leaving out a lot of painful, epic, dramatic, failed attempts at countless things in life. We're skipping to 26. At this time I moved 2,000 miles away from everything I knew. My identity was closely associated with my construction trade, and my children, but for the sake of all of us I needed to set out on the journey of finding.... Queue Dr. Todd Alberts (Line 1 : 128 = myWhy()).

It was in the creation of software, that left people in awe. Or colleagues successfully using A.I. to 100x the diagnostic speed of children with rare genetic cancers. It was making my first solo app for my children to address communication issues. My why is tech....and creating solutions that make the world better. Follow steps below and please let me know your Why's!!!

Corwin recommends the following next steps:

Find a best friend ask them why they are your friend - It's hard for our human brain to turn emotional data into words. Eventually they won't know.
Next ask what?? "What about me makes me your friend" - Eventually They start describing your core values.
Repeat with other close friends.
Analyse theorize, then determine your why!
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Chirayu’s Answer

It's important to remember that your career is a personal choice and you have the right to make it based on your own interests, passions, and goals. While it can be challenging to break away from traditional family expectations, it can also be an opportunity to explore new paths and to create a fulfilling and successful career for yourself. Additionally, it could be helpful to seek support from a counselor, career advisor or a mentor who can help you navigate the process and provide guidance and advice.
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